Enrico Castellani

  • Born 1930 in Castelmassa, Italy
Enrico Castellani received his diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Brera Art Academy) in Milan in 1952. Afterward he studied both art (at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts [Royal Academy of Fine Arts) and architecture (at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre [National School of Visual Arts of the Cambre) in Brussels. Castellani resettled in Milan in 1956, where he met contemporary artists such as Piero Manzoni (1933–1963) and Lucio Fontana (1899–1968). In 1959 Castellani and Manzoni founded the critical journal Azimuth and the Galleria Azimut, where Castellani held his first solo show in 1960. Castellani’s non-referential, self-reflexive art practice treated the canvas as an object. He showed his first relief monochromes, “Superficie nera” (Black Surface in Relief), in 1959, for which he created depressions on the canvas with a nail gun. He would continue to use methods like puncturing and embossing to create rhythmic spatial reliefs. Castellani further explored perceptual effects in his “Angolare” (Angular) series (1960–65), comprised of corner-shaped canvases deformed by concave and convex shapes. In 1967 he produced Ambiente bianco (White Environment), his first room-sized installation. In the early 1960s he became associated with the German artist group ZERO and was included in several ZERO exhibitions. He represented Italy in the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1966, 1984 and 2003

Artworks by Enrico Castellani in the exhibition